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Montreal to Toronto, where to stop on the way?

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London, United...
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Montreal to Toronto, where to stop on the way?

Hi all

We are hoping to come to Canada for our 30th birthday celebration next May, initially looking at Toronto and Niagara. Whilst we are there we decided to do another city and Montreal looks like the one as we can fly into Montreal and then out of Toronto back to London.

I'm thinking, 3 nights in Montreal, pick up a car then drive onto Niagara but as its a 7 hour drive we would like a stop over on the way, have any suggestions please?

From Niagara we will then drive back to Toronto drop the car off and then have a few nights there before flying back home.

Burlington, Canada
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1. Re: Montreal to Toronto, where to stop on the way?

Stop off for a visit?

Then Kingston has some historical sites, it's 3 hours from Montreal.

Driving to Toronto is quite easy and if you stop in Kingston for a few hours it's an easy drive to Toronto.

Niagara is about an hour and a half from Toronto and it's also an easy drive depending on rush hour traffic.

London, United...
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2. Re: Montreal to Toronto, where to stop on the way?

Hello, Was thinking stop over for the night as 6-7 hours driving is a bit much.

Montreal, Canada
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3. Re: Montreal to Toronto, where to stop on the way?

Since you can fly in Mtl and out of TO then I would also suggest that you also add Québec City to your plans, at least for an overnight. It is 3 hours from Mtl but on the total opposite direction than TO and NF.

Then if you don't want to have too much driving time I would suggest that you spend one or two nights in Mtl, go to Qc for a night and then drive back to Mtl. If you would like to skip the city per se on your return you could always try to stay at the Holiday Inn Pointe Claire or the Manoir Vaudreuil. I am sure that others can give you more suggestions for hotels along the highway. Then betweeI both metropolises you can veer off the 401 highway to take the Thousand Islands Parkway for a while, make a stop in Gananoque to make a cruise through those islands and then just drive to Kingston for your overnight in a place with many restaurants, bars, hotels/motels possibilities. After Québec City Kingston would not be so inteesting but you could spend a few hours the next morning to sightsee the town. Then I would sugggest that you simply to drive to Toronto and rent a room there for a few nights drop off your car and then, one day, either do a day trip to NF with a new car rental or simply take a bus tour.

In my book, unless you are a gambler or like tacky attractions like Ripley's Believe It or Not, the Falls and environs are worth about 4 hours, then a drive on the beautiful Niagara Parkway to the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake with, may be, a stop at one of the wineries in the vicinity. So you can be back to Toronto the same night and give back your car without paying for pariking.

Also note that some campanies charge drop off fees between Montréal and Toronto so make sure that your car rental doesn't charge for this extra.

Edited: 12:43 pm, September 09, 2012
Burlington, Canada
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4. Re: Montreal to Toronto, where to stop on the way?

I understand what you're saying about driving Citybreaks39 but I've had the reverse happen. Canada is "big" and many Europeans don't understand the distances. Whereas when in Europe/UK distances are short and the drives easy.

I'll counter the above comment about Niagara.

I live near Niagara and regularly visit the area and there is quite a bit to do from seeing the falls, going along the Parkway to the botanical gardens, butterfly conservatory or visiting any of the over 80 wineries in the area. Plus there are some excellent B&B's, restaurants and the range of selections are tremendous. Plus there's theatre with the Shaw Festival. Fort George and many historic sites if that interests you. More than enough to keep you busy for a number of days.

So I would suggest maybe an overnight stay in Niagara-on-the Lake, then two nights in Toronto as a way to get the most of all the places you want to visit.

Quebec City is pretty and quaint and the city with some of the oldest buildings in North America but if you're limited in time try the Montreal, Kingston, Niagara/Niagara-on-the-Lake and then Toronto routing and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Here are some links you might find helpful.

www.niagaraonthelake.com/page/Featured_Events

http://www.niagaraonthelake.com/wineries

http://www.niagarabedandbreakfasts.com/

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Montreal to Toronto, where to stop on the way?

I wouldn't even consider Quebec City with this timeline.....I'd try to leave Montreal around 6-7am so you go through Toronto at around noon allowing you to get to NF at 2ish, better than stopping along the way if you ask me..

SE Ontario
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6. Re: Montreal to Toronto, where to stop on the way?

As Canby notes, the "bigness" of Canada can be a surprise to many Europeans. For us, driving 6 - 7 hours or more in a day is not a big deal, but for visitors it can be overwhelming.

Kingston is indeed the logical half-way point between the two areas, and as an overnight place to stop has the most services and things to do. It is an historical town with lovely graceful homes and buildings, many built with the limestone native to the area.There are some very lovely inns & Bed & Breakfasts in Kingston. For a more picturesque drive from Kingston, moving west towards Toronto, you can take the Loyalist Parkway, which runs along Lake Ontario from Kingston to Trenton,hopping onto Prince Edward County (Ontario's other great wine region) along the way, and then on to the Apple Route, which continues west along the lake to Port Hope, where you would join up again with the main Highway 401.

These routes take you through rolling farmland, orchards, and numerous small historically significant towns.

As TD notes, your main concern will be to get through Toronto during the non-rush hour periods, which in the afternoon start at approximately 3- 3:30 pm, and run until close to 7 pm.

http://tourism.kingstoncanada.com/en/

http://www.loyalistparkway.org/

http://prince-edward-county.com/

http://www.appleroute.com/

Edited: 1:57 pm, September 09, 2012
London, United...
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7. Re: Montreal to Toronto, where to stop on the way?

Thanks everyone for your great replies, I think stopping at Kingston is the best option as it can be tiring driving such a long distance. Us Brits are not use to such long distances in one day! We learnt that after our San Fran to LA drive and that was with one stop!!

Also the option of going off the main motorway sounds great and more scenic, as we'd like to take our time and not worry about getting from A to B before it gets dark or too busy in rush hour.

Thanks for letting me know about your rush hour as it starts earlier than the uk, so will plan travel around it where we can.

Thanks for all your great suggestions, can I also ask is 3 nights ok in Montreal, followed by the stop in Kingston, 1 night in Niagara and 3 in Toronto?

Edited: 2:55 pm, September 09, 2012
SE Ontario
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8. Re: Montreal to Toronto, where to stop on the way?

Yes ... that allocation of time seems about right. And I would agree that staying overnight in Niagara-on-the-Lake would be a good idea, rather than right in Niagara Falls. The two communities are very close. Unless of course you really want to stay close to the Falls. It will depend on what you want to do

I forgot to mention that the routes I noted above all run parallel to the main 401 freeway, so if you feel you are running out of time, it is very easy to hop back up to the main highway..

Burlington, Canada
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9. Re: Montreal to Toronto, where to stop on the way?

Just go to this link and look at Pillar and Post, Queens Landing and Prince of Wales.

vintage-hotels.com/pillarandpost/default.htm

All are great venues, dining and spa experience plus you're close to everything.

West Grey, Ontario
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10. Re: Montreal to Toronto, where to stop on the way?

Hi Citybreaks39;

Just 18 miles east of Kingston is Gananoque (pronounced GAN-AN-OCK-WAY), the "Gateway to the Thousand Islands". You can take a 1 hr, 2.5 hr, or 5 hr boat tour of the 1000 Islands.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g182143-d1…

www.ganboatline.com/

The 5 hour tour stops at Boldt Castle, which was built in 1900 by the former owner of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. If you wish to walk about the island and tour through the castle, you will need to clear U.S. Customs, as the island is in American waters. Be sure that you bring your identification as required.

tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g29794-d105…

www.boldtcastle.com/

While in Gananoque, check out;

The Thousand Islands Playhouse for great live theatre.

tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g182143-c88400/Gananoq…

http://www.1000islandsplayhouse.com/

1000 Islands Skydeck

tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g1200493-d1…

http://www.1000islandsskydeck.com/home.php

If you decide to stay in Gananoque overnight, I strongly recommend the Islandview Inn Bed & Breakfast, which is located only 1 block from where the tour boats dock, and the St Lawrence River.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g182143-d619664…

www.islandviewinnbb.com/

The Holiday Inn Express would be my second choice, but is located at the opposite end of town.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g182143-d578912…

hiexpress.com/hotels/us/en/yonca/hoteldetail…

Canada has a natural beauty that MUST be seen, which is why I'm suggesting some time in the 1000 Island Region. For more info on the 1000 Islands;

www.1000islandsgananoque.com

www.visit1000islands.com/

www.1000islandsinfo.com/

Best Regards